Changing a Child Support Order

Child support orders can be changed until the child reaches the age of 18, or 19 ½ when child support is ordered to this age. The Friend of the Court (FOC) automatically reviews child support orders once every 36 months if the child or custodial parent is receiving public assistance. The FOC also reviews a child support order if a party makes a written request for a review.

The FOC will only ask the judge to change child support if the difference between the current support amount and the new amount is at least 10 percent or $50 per month, whichever is more. If the difference between the current support amount and the new amount is less, the FOC doesn’t have to ask the judge to change it.

Either parent can file a motion asking the judge to change child support. Examples of when a motion may be filed are when the custody or parenting time agreement is modified or when a parent’s income changes.

When parents make a change in the custody arrangement, child support isn’t automatically changed. Child support will still be charged to the payer as stated in the most recent order. It won’t change until someone files a Motion to Modify Child Support and the judge signs an order changing the amount.

Additionally, when a parent changes jobs, that person could end up making more or less money. The judge needs to know about a change in either parent’s income because it could impact the amount of child support that would be ordered.

In both of these situations one of the parties should quickly file a motion to change support. Past due child support amounts normally cannot be changed retroactively. This means the judge cannot change the amount of a child support payment after that payment is due.

If you have any questions about if a change in child support is necessary for your case, please contact our office to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. (734) 422-2377.